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To prevent unneeded strain on the wonderful graphic designers offering their services here at JN, we've put together some rules so that the designers are not overwhelmed or overworked.

If you do not follow these rules, you will be banned from this Graphics forum indefinitely. (Yes, we can restrict access to certain forums.)

1) You should only have one open request for a set/image at any given time.

2) You need to wait at least 2 full weeks before making any other request.

3) Be sure to contact the designer for any corrections or things you'd like changed. They might have the .PSDs still on hand. ;)

4) If you have someone make your set, you MUST credit them in your signature! This is so other members can get a sampling of certain designers and their styles. (You need not credit yourself, though.)

5) If you do not see someone following these rules, please PM a moderator or administrator.

You also need to read: A Guide to Images, and The 10 Commandments of the Graphics Dept.
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Hints To Making Pro Looking Signatures.

#1 User is offline   Graphix_Chick 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:49 AM

Thought id share some of my tips and tricks to making graphics :)

1.Dont make them ginormous, the ideal size for a signature is 300x100pixels or 300x150. Signatures usually should not go above 400x200 pixels.
2.Make sure your colors match and aren't overly bright
3.Outlining adds extra pizazz to graphics
4.BORDER IT. Nuff said.
5. Make sure the focal point of your sig isnt covered.
6. Use readable fonts.
7. If you have an actual image editor such as PSP or Photoshop, try playing around with layers and opacity.
8. When animating try not to make it huge, fast, blinding and in your face.


Examples of a few signatures.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v109/celestialmissy/missymusicset.png
By Missy, This sig used multiple layers of a grungy effect. The border holds it all in.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c112/Henri_the_Great/ween2.png
By Henri, This sig's simplicity makes it very nice. It gets right to the point


Feel free to post some more tips and tricks to making nice sets :)

#2 User is offline   Steve 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:20 AM

Here are a few more:

1. BORDER. This takes about 15 seconds, but makes such a difference...
2. Simple can be good. Don't over-do something just because you think you have to.
3.Try and make your font match you theme, only if you can though.
4. Small images can fill space. Try and make them match though. (See Missys' Siggy Above)
5. Don't Animate just because you can. Not all things need animating to look good.
6. If you do animate keep it simple (as Resey's point 8 states).

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f191/kugr33/Shane-Dream.gif
By Shane. The background animation looks great... If he had done that bouncing off the image and the top as well, so it repeats, I think it would've looked amazing.

#3 User is offline   Kimmy 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:00 AM

Alright, here are a few tricks from myself. Mine really only apply if you have a program like PSP/Photoshop/Fireworks, as I really don't know much about Paint.

1) Make use of layers and opacities! It's amazing the effect you have by toning one aspect of your picture down.

2) Brushes and textures! Textures add depth to backgrounds OR fonts. Brushes give you a little something "extra", and are especially handy when you want to fill space.

3) A variety of fonts. I personally use http://dafont.com because they're all free and there's a continually updated database. No matter what your theme, you can find a font to suit it.

4) I like to make different shaped signatures, as you have probably guessed. It sets them apart from everyone elses. You can make these freehand with a Pen tool, or sometimes, I even use preset shapes and tweak them to my liking.

5) Matching colors. This is DEFINITELY something to stress. If your graphics colors are red and green, throwing orange and purple into the mix isn't really going to work to your benefit. Another thing I like to do is border my text, and sometimes switch the colors in each word.

6) If you animate, which I normally won't (not because I can't, just because I don't like to) don't make it over the top and too flashy. Blinkies are okay, to an extent.

7) Make it easy to read. Text that is teeny-tiny and bordered in a contrasting color strains a person's eyes.

Above all though, be creative! Don't be afraid of what other people think, because really, all you need to please is yourself. I know everyone's into the "rate my set" deal, but don't base everything you do on everyone else's tastes. :)

This post has been edited by tainted_dark: 06 October 2006 - 11:01 AM


#4 User is offline   Illy 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:40 AM

I think this is pin-worthy. x)

Some of my tips/hints/whatever:

1. Anti-alias your fonts (unless you're using a pixel font)! Most programs have a box called "anti-alias" when you use your text tool--make sure it's checked!
2. Don't go overboard with brushes, especially swirly brushes. Really, if you're not going for a "grunge" effect, 2-3 brushes per sig is enough.
3. Take your time, ask other designers for critiques, (honest critiques), and create a new layer whenever you are adding a new component. Never feel like you have to finish your set in under 10 minutes, no matter how swamped you are.

#5 User is offline   Graphix_Chick 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:07 PM

View Postillusioniste, on Oct 6 2006, 01:40 PM, said:

I think this is pin-worthy. x)

Some of my tips/hints/whatever:

1. Anti-alias your fonts (unless you're using a pixel font)! Most programs have a box called "anti-alias" when you use your text tool--make sure it's checked!
2. Don't go overboard with brushes, especially swirly brushes. Really, if you're not going for a "grunge" effect, 2-3 brushes per sig is enough.
3. Take your time, ask other designers for critiques, (honest critiques), and create a new layer whenever you are adding a new component. Never feel like you have to finish your set in under 10 minutes, no matter how swamped you are.



*smacks head* Duh. I was gonna pin it but I forgotted :P


And in response to #1, when using a pixel font, border it by pasting it on a colored background and expanding the selection.

#6 User is offline   Furbsies 

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:22 PM

I have some suggestions too :o
1. Brushes are your friend. If your sig is centered around an image, use some brushes and gradients and stuff in the background. It makes it look spiffeh B)
2. -agrees with Resey and Steve- BORDERS!! -smacks- USE THEM!!
3. Make your text stand out and be readable. Outline it or and some shadow or glow. If it hurts your eyes to try and read it, IT'S NOT RIGHT.
4. Use the right colors. Make sure they match the image and aren't too bright. The colors you use give the graphic feeling, so choose ones that go with the theme. For example, don't put the Darkest Faerie on a bright magenta background.

#7 User is offline   Ruby 

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 01:09 AM

1. REMOVE WHITE!!! It's reaaaallyyyy ugly if you have a box around your main image. Sometimes the eraser doesn't exactly look very good for removing white, especially if it's a hard eraser so that's something to take note of. I suggest using the Magic Wand for programs like Photoshop/PSP.

2. Don't overdo the feather edges. It looks like you're doing it just because you have the spiffy ability to do feather edges. Feathered main image is normally fine but if you feather your main image, your text, your background, your border etc. then you're overdoing it. ;)

3. Animating for the sake of animating is a headache. Graphics that require people to watch long animations just to get the point of them are normally a huge turn off. Most people can't be bothered to watch your flashing signature for 2 and a half minutes.

4. Get HONEST critique. Don't go to somebody who usually says "It's nice but it's lacking something." since it won't get you anywhere. If you don't think that your graphic is up to scratch then you might want to start a new thread in the Ratings board.

5. If your main pic blends in a lot with your background then try using drop shadow to make it stand out. If you want to use glow, PLEASE don't make your glow bright red if your main image is bright blue. Eye bleeding colours aren't good and are a major turn off.

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